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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the disbursement of US$363.27 million under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to help the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) meet urgent balance of payments stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DRC is experiencing a severe shock as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The short-term economic outlook has deteriorated quickly due to the fall of minerals’ prices and the impact of needed containment and mitigation measures.

The deteriorating macroeconomic outlook and the additional fiscal pressures are creating an urgent balance of payments need. The IMF support through RCF financing would help fill part of the financing gap, while additional support from other development partners is expected to close the remaining gap and ease budget financing needs.

Read: IMF disburses US$886.2 million to Côte d’Ivoire to fight COVID-19

 Following the decision, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy MD and Chair said: ““The COVID‑19 crisis is expected to have a considerable economic and social impact on the DRC, which is a fragile country. The outbreak will affect DRC’s economy, as containment measures impact domestic activities and exports are hit hard amid weaker commodity prices and global demand. Along with a decline in financial flows, the pandemic has created substantial urgent external financing needs.

 “The budget deficit is projected to widen this year given expected lower government revenues and higher spending needs related to the pandemic. The IMF’s emergency financial support under the Rapid Credit Facility will address DRC’s urgent balance of payments needs while supporting this temporary fiscal loosening.”

New date for DRC Mining Week

Meanwhile, Clarion Events Africa has rescheduled DRC Mining Week to the second half of this year. The event, which was due to take place from 17-19 June, will now run from 7-9 October 2020.

The 16th edition of DRC Mining Week, will attract over 5,000 local and international mining stakeholders and influencers from across public and private sectors, doing business in the DRC and is recognised as the largest, B2B mining expo in the country.

Read: Investment a key focus at DMW 2020

“The health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors, employees and the wider public is of paramount importance to us,” said MD David Ashdown.

“We take this decision with the full support and commitment of our key stakeholders and partners and we do it with confidence that in October we can deliver an event of quality and value to the industry sector.”